Before you read one, more word, I must warn you: I am prejudiced towards old folks. Just love ’em. Guess you could say I have a thing for crinkly, wrinkles and a shuffling step. In fact, give me a sour codger over a surly teen ANY day of the week. At least they’ve earned it. Okay, so maybe they’re not the best drivers. Maybe they do put on the left signal, then turn right—but I absolutely REFUSE TO HONK AT THEM!
Take today, for example. I was driving my youngest to school, when I caught sight of an old Chrysler up ahead on the right, starting to inch past the STOP sign. “They’re not pulling out in front of me,” I say mostly to myself. Yup. I’m going 50 mph as a little old lady pulls smack into my lane going 15 mph and she is definitely NOT accelerating. I pump the brakes. Several seconds later and she’s barely climbed to 30 mph. “Why didn’t you honk your horn at her?” my daughter queries. “She’s old,” I reply. “The noise would have just startled her more. It’s safer to just brake.”
Not five minutes later, we are accelerating from a 4-way stop when a blonde in a Mercedes, rolls through the STOP sign and bolts in front of me. I lay on the horn so hard and fast, my daughter fairly leaps from her seat. I’m now on the blonde’s bumper, close enough to see that she’s texting! “Gosh, Mom,” my daughter pipes up again. “Why did you honk at HER?” “Well, she didn’t stop at the STOP sign. She pulled out in front of us without looking where she’s going because she’s texting..AND she’s young and quick and should know better!”
When Granny first taught me how to drive she kept a hawk eye on my speedometer. If I went one millisecond over the speed limit, she calmly said, “Now, hold your horses dear. We’re in no hurry.” I thought she was referring to the horsepower of the engine but a woman born in 1900 means real horses. Granny had once owned a stallion named Duke. “He was 15 hands high and a powerful animal. If not bridled and trained he could stampede right over you.” So, the next time you’re tempted to honk at one of our silver-haired seniors, remember: Hold Your Horses! (http://www.helen-hudson.com.)